Today we are going to look at Captii Limited (SGX:AWV) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.
First up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Then we'll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.
What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?
ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. Renowned investment researcher Michael Mauboussin has suggested that a high ROCE can indicate that 'one dollar invested in the company generates value of more than one dollar'.
How Do You Calculate Return On Capital Employed?
The formula for calculating the return on capital employed is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
Or for Captii:
0.077 = S$3.5m ÷ (S$54m - S$8.2m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)
Therefore, Captii has an ROCE of 7.7%.
Is Captii's ROCE Good?
ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Using our data, Captii's ROCE appears to be around the 6.6% average of the Communications industry. Aside from the industry comparison, Captii's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Investors may wish to consider higher-performing investments.
You can see in the image below how Captii's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.
When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. ROCE can be misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. How cyclical is Captii? You can see for yourself by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Do Captii's Current Liabilities Skew Its ROCE?
Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, that need to be paid within 12 months. Due to the way the ROCE equation works, having large bills due in the near term can make it look as though a company has less capital employed, and thus a higher ROCE than usual. To check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.
Captii has total assets of S$54m and current liabilities of S$8.2m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 15% of its total assets. This is a modest level of current liabilities, which would only have a small effect on ROCE.
Our Take On Captii's ROCE
That said, Captii's ROCE is mediocre, there may be more attractive investments around. Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than Captii. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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